Two new residential developments in High Barnet both offering 52% affordable housing have been approved unanimously by the Barnet Council planning committee.
The Moxon Street and Whitings Road schemes will deliver 21 and 35 residential units respectively.
Applicant Opendoor Homes, a subsidiary of Barnet Homes which manages and maintains Barnet Council’s housing stock, will deliver the projects. They will contribute to the Labour administration’s pledge to provide 1,000 new affordable homes by 2026.
The Moxon Street site has a broadly L-shaped design, with the front facing Moxon Street and the back Tapster Street. The project comprises mews-style homes and two small commercial buildings.
Seven one-bed and 14 two-bed units, of which nine will be shared ownership homes and the rest for open market sale, are set to be developed.
All buildings will be a maximum of two storeys high, as a new mews street built with entry points from both Moxon Street and Tapster Street sides. The commercial and warehouse blocks which currently sit on the site will be demolished.
The project is largely car-free with only two car parking spaces for disabled Blue Badge holders. The second housing development, located next to Whitings Hill Primary School on Whitings Road, was also unanimously waived through by councillors.
The 35 mews-style homes comprise of largely family-sized units of three to four bedrooms, nearly all of which have gardens. The affordable and family housing aspect of the scheme garnered support from local groups, including The Barnet Society.
The site will provide 20 affordable units and 15 for private sale. Out of the affordable units, eleven will be social-rented units, and nine units will be shared ownership. There will be 29 car parking spaces, including four for wheelchair users and cycle storage.
Kerry Csuka, an associate planning consultant at JLL, spoke on behalf of Opendoor Homes at a planning committee meeting yesterday (Wednesday 13th) and said the relationship between the neighbouring school and proposed homes was considered and such the designs prevented any overlooking.
However, Labour committee member Claire Farrier shared concerns over the breakdown of the affordable housing, stating it offered a larger proportion of shared ownership over London Affordable Rent, adding there was a “great demand” for affordable rent.
Kerry said to “mitigate the viability challenge” the applicant faced on both schemes the social tenures were weighted to “shared ownership over affordable rent”.
She added: “We can confirm that that affordable housing has been maximised as much as possible.”
Kerry also highlighted the amount of family-sized homes being delivered as affordable rent, and that Opendoor Homes had “many sites” across the borough in development currently that they were “taking into account”.
The Greater London Authority partly-funded the developments, supplying a £3.79million grant.
The council anticipates the developments will save them £250,000 per year by providing extra council tax revenue and avoiding temporary accommodation costs.
Ross Houston, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and regeneration said: “We are delighted that approval has been granted for 56 new homes at Moxon Street and Whitings Road. These new developments will be a great addition to the local community and will provide another eleven much-needed homes for social rent for Barnet residents, as well as 18 affordable shared ownership homes.
“These schemes will contribute towards Barnet Council’s commitment to deliver 1,000 new council homes by 2026 – taking the total we’ve now either delivered or agreed at planning committee to 511.”